NY BHA March Newsletter

Update from Chapter Chair

Happy spring everyone (did we even have a winter?)! If you are like me, you are digging out your turkey calls and dreaming of warm mornings chasing gobblers. Or maybe you are itching to get out to your local trout streams with your fly rods. Or maybe you are excited to get out foraging for ramps and morels. No matter what you get up to in the woods and waters this year, we want to hear from you! We really want to see BHA members in the state connecting more than ever this year. So, please tag and follow us on social media, join us at Pint Nights / conservation events, let your legislators hear from you about proposed bills impacting hunters and anglers, and make sure your BHA membership is current! But above all, get out there and enjoy your public lands and waters!

Greg Whalin - NY BHA Chapter Chair 

Chapter News

Board Changes

Chapter Board members are elected volunteers that are responsible for guiding the chapter through setting and meeting annual goals around membership growth, fundraising, events (conservation and pint nights), and tracking policy work in the state to ensure NY hunters and anglers are represented in Albany. The NY Chapter Board recently went through a lot of changes including:

  • Saying goodbye to departing board members Brian Bird and Rocci Agguire.
  • Welcoming new members Tim Clark, Valorie Titus, Megan Plete Postol, Gary Stefani, Alex Mercado, and Andrew Pelletier!
  • Electing a new executive team of Greg Whalin (Chair), Ted Krueger (Vice Chair), Frank DeSantis Jr (Treasurer), and Bill Delaney (Secretary).


We are sad to see departing members and want to thank them for their volunteer time and at the same time excited to welcome our new board members!  Keep an eye on our Instagram (@newyorkbha) account over the upcoming weeks to meet the board.

2024 Chapter Plan

All BHA state chapters are required to put together a yearly plan which spells out the chapter’s goals and plans for the years. The NY Chapter submitted their plan in February and the goals include:

  • Growing membership by 120 members
  • Growing our Instagram (@newyorkbha) account by 1000 followers
  • Fundraising $3250 for BHA
  • Hosting a large event for members of the state
  • Hosting a minimum of 16 Pint Nights and conservation events across the state
  • Continuing our R3 work across the state through mentorship programs, the biggest effort being a continued partnership with Hunters of Color and NY Nature Conservancy
  • Moving policy work forward in key areas including
    • Hunter access issues, including efforts to remove the requirements for back tags, revisions on crossbow restrictions, and continuing to fight against lead ammunition bans on public lands
    • Conservation issues around wildlife corridors, wanton waste laws and local DEC land management plans
    • Stream access issues in the Catskills to protect access to public waters for anglers
    • Saltwater fishery issues impacting the northeast and Atlantic coastline 


This is a lot of work planned for the year and as always, this work only happens through dedicated efforts of volunteers.   If you are interested in helping us out with any of the above, please do reach out to us through our Instagram (@newyorkbha), email ([email protected]), or by filling out our volunteer form.  We need and want your help!

Upcoming Events

Public Land Packout - Three Rivers WMA, Baldwinsville, March 30 @ 9am

Come join NY BHA for a Public Land Packout at the Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area outside Syracuse, New York. This public land offers hiking, abundant hunting opportunities for deer, waterfowl and small game, trapping, and fishing and we would like to help maintain this WMA as part of our stewardship agreement with the NY DEC. All are welcome and supplies will be provided. Join the crew afterwards at Duskee's in Phoenix for refreshments and a chance to win some great BHA merch! Click the link below to RSVP.

Three Rivers WMA - Public Land Pack Out - RSVP Here!


NY Huntstock - Vernon Center, July 19 - 21

NY BHA will be attending the first ever NY Huntstock event taking place this summer!  This event is sure to be a blast and we would love to see you swing by our table if you make it to the event!  More details can be found at the Huntstock website below.

Huntstock NY - Learn More

Legislative / Policy Update


Legislative Updates

With the legislature back in session in Albany for 2024, it’s a good time to contact your elected officials on important issues.  The following are a few bills of interest. 


Back Tags - With the upcoming modernization to to hunting licenses this year, the requirement for back tags becomes even more necessary to be removed.   We encourage all members to write to your legislators to encourage them to pass bills to remove the requirements for hunters to wear back tags.   The relevant bills are S367 and A1486


New York wildlife crossing act - A bill that directs the Department of Transportation to identify sites along all highways, thruways and parkways in the state where wildlife crossings are most needed to increase public safety and improve habitat connectivity and create a priority list of wildlife opportunity areas where federal grant monies may be available to implement the top five projects identified.  We are in favor of this proposed bill and encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to get this one over the finish line.   The relevant bills are S4198 and A4243.


Lead ammo ban on all public lands - Both the Assembly and the Senate have bills proposing banning all lead ammunition only on public lands.  This nearly passed last year (passed Assembly and died in Senate) and this is going to be back this year.   While we are very much in favor of hunters voluntarily switching to non-toxic ammunition, we feel that these bills are likely to be ineffective and unfairly target only public land hunters.   Reach out to your elected officials! The relevant bills are S4976 and A2084


Crossbows - Crossbow requirements in NY are currently extremely restrictive and as written reduce access for hunting.   We encourage our members to write your legislators to show your support for a bill to remove many of the strange restrictions on crossbows in the state.   The relevant bills are S3191 and A2940


Other - A few other bills we would like for you to take action on by contacting your elected officials:

  • Hunting dogs cannot be deemed running at large - S5498 / A2224
  • Constitutional right to hunt and fish - S870 / A3348
  • Ban leg gripping traps - A110 / S1619


We will keep track of these and other proposed bills that we feel NY BHA members should pay attention to on the BHA website at the NY BHA 2024 Legislative Tracker


DEC Updates

Unit/Recreation Management Plans and Proposals - DEC regularly seeks public input as they work to manage our public lands.   While they will regularly receive input from other groups, often hunters and anglers are fairly silent.   It directly benefits the hunting and angling communities for you to take a look at these plans and voice your feedback directly to DEC.   They do listen to your input and in the past, our voices have resulted in wins for hunters and anglers.  Current plans open for feedback include:


Region 8

All Regions


NY BHA Call for Volunteers

We need your help!  We are looking for volunteers to help with the following efforts.


  • Regional Event Coordinators - Want to help us plan gatherings for your fellow NY BHA members?   We need help with local Pint Nights as well as our upcoming NY Rendezvous
  • Policy and Legislative work - Our Policy team and newly forming Legislative team needs passionate folks to jump in and help us do the important work to protect our public lands and access for hunters and anglers!
  • Mentorship work - We want to build a list of folks in the state who are open to being mentors for new hunters and anglers.  We have opportunities and need for folks who can give a little all the way up to folks who want to really invest a lot.  Everything from answering questions to being a one on one coach to participating on our larger weekend long hunt camps for new hunters.
  • Conservation work - We are working with DEC to have more opportunities for events to do quality habitat work on our public lands.  Want to roll your sleeves up and help, we would love to have you!


If you are interested in volunteering a bit of your time and talents, please let us know by filling out and submitting this form.

How to Connect with Us

Here are a few ways you can keep in touch with the New York BHA chapter:


Stay up to date with events and blogs from New York on our BHA web page at New York Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.  


Join our Facebook group at New York BHA on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram New York BHA (@newyorkbha).

Contact the Chapter Board by email: [email protected]

Thank our sponsors: New York BHA Corporate Sponsors

Join us at an upcoming event: NY BHA Events

Signup to be a volunteer: NY BHA Volunteer

Last but not least, make sure your BHA membership is current and give the gift of BHA to a friend or family member!

About New York BHA

The New York Chapter is focused on bringing BHA's proven approach to conserving wild places and outdoor heritage to the Empire State. Join us to conserve our wilds!

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